Director : Mani Ratnam
Starring: Abhishek Bachan, Mithun Chakraborty, Ashwarya Rai, R.Madhavan, Vidya Balan
For long I have been a Mani Ratnam fan. I was thrilled by his Nayagan and Thalapathy, moved by his Anjali, Roja and Bombay and was made a romantic at heart by Mouna Ragam and Alaipayuthey. This really accentuated by disappointment at some of his works in the recent past. However Guru (even though it is by no means his best work) has brought back the belief that he still has it in him to attain the lofty standards of expectation he has set in us. Mind you it is not a great movie but it is a good enough movies which gives glimpses of his genius.
The acting in this movie is superlative. All the actors give a top-notch performance be it the main cast or the support crew. Abhishek is all encompassing in the title role. His dedication to the role is plainly visible. He has put on quite a bit of weight to lent credibility to his role as the older and wealthier Gurubhai. His range of emotions from being a simple villager to one of the greatest industrialist in India is well executed. Definitely his best work till date.
The rest of the support cast does a creditable job with Vidya Balan’s essay of the handicapped girl being the one that springs to mind readily. Mind you, her role is so miniscule that you feel that she was wasted. The same applies for R.Madhavan. You can’t help but feel that Mithun Chakraborty was not fully utilized and his character not fully developed.
The direction of the movie is top class. The technical details are very well done. The visuals are well etched. Mani Ratnam manages to keep our interest in the movie even though it could have gone out of control due to the script’s over indulgence with the main character. The movie goes at a good enough pace and does not bring about boredom at any point. My only complaint is that the songs are too close to each other. Then again Mani Ratnam keeps us entertained with some cool picturization of the songs.
I must be honest when I say that I was not too impressed by A.R. Rahman’s music for this movie when I heard it initially. But I started liking the music more after seeing its picturization. The songs mayya mayya and bin thera are catchy. While the visual’s of barso re is equally as good as the song itself.
The main problem with the movie is its script. The film is not able to maintain the tempo and enthusiasm of the first half. The second half is a huge let down when compared to the first. It is only the acting and Mani Ratnam’s direction that saves the day. The movie is all about Guru. Period! The other characters with the exception of Ashwarya’s are not clearly defined. The movie is about a grayish character. Surprisingly the movie seems hesitant and almost apologetic to expose Guru’s shady deals. His illegal and unethical practices are either underplayed or justified. This leads to diluting the conflict between The Independent and Gurubhai. This is the biggest disappointment as it could have been exploited a potentially explosive confrontation between the main characters of this movie. However the end result is that the confrontation is so diluted it just fizzles out without a trace.
Guru is a movie that could have been great if only the makers had shown a bit more guts in dealing with the subject. In the end it feels hijacked by the one person on whom the movie is supposed to be based albeit from the grave.
Rating : 3.5/5